1st Place

I Was Bathed in These Stars

Author: Rain Elizabeth Santistevan

I was bathed in these stars—in the fire—in the art Right when I began I went swimming

in the dark

That surrounded them and tore their light apart

Even then—way back when

I was swallowed by their light

I was floating in the night and skipping sparks

I was held—warm and still—Santa Fe—holy hills

I beheld a flame that fell from the sky it died until

I reached out a minor hand and I saved it from the kill

In my palm—it burned on

As we gathered on the bridge

In that midnight pilgrimage I was distilled

Swirls of life and light and leaves ignite and die

Sudden doors and roads and window panes

Coffee cups and candle light

Aspen grey and birds at night

Still you burn above me as I fade

And I am bathed from afar—in a clock made of stars

Turning time—gears and rhymes—memories of everything

And an ancient fire burning in a forest stark

Works of hands—golden bands

Draw a sketch and fight to sing

The lines alight in learning—better for the dark

Swirls of tastes and fights and songs ignite and die

Sullen snow then flowers that seem to pray

Brand new sheets and rainy days

Playing in an autumn haze

Still you burn above me as I fade

Then I am bathed by a hand—I have yet to


Just a touch—not too much—distant scent of


Like an ancient water dancing through the

forest dark

Many ghosts—perfect hosts

Spices lifting on a breeze

Like a symphony of trees out playing in a park

Gypsy face—full of grace—in the blood

faith is traced

Back to when I began that strange swimming in

the dark

That surrounded us and tore our light apart

In my palm we burn on

We are gathered on the bridge

In a midnight pilgrimage back to the start

Rain Elizabeth Santistevan, aka Rain E Day is a local singer-songwriter and artist who was born and raised in Santa Fe. The music she writes for her band A Rainy Day & The Poetree is a melodic piano-based mix of “almost ragtime,” folk, cabaret and indie rock—with the main focus being on the poetry of the lyrics. She spent time in the early 1990s in Seattle, Wash., both working in a rock band and creating “happy art” for greeting cards, until returning to Santa Fe to pursue a graphic design degree and raise her son with the help of a tight-knit family. She received her first degree in graphic design and is currently attending SFUAD in pursuit of her BFA.

2nd Place

Members of the Sky, Edges of the Earth

Author: By Emmaly Wiederholt

It’s cool out

Rain falls



Feathers flying down



Into eroded soil




Pressed into mud

A soft thud

Like a whisper

Like a reason for going to sleep

To keep





Let go

A turn of hand

A secret cry

A change of mind

A time for listening

To reason

To internal rhyme

Rapping on the earth

A time for stopping

To soak

To seep

To sully

With wetness

Sweet wetness

Always dripping



Let go



Ripping at the seams

Rapping at the roof



Down earth’s throat

A coat

Concealing bones




Drained clouds

Dripping cold

It’s cool out

Coyotes’ other worldly howl


Suspends me

All the things that can’t be seen but make themselves known in other ways

These things determine


The energy of a room

The likelihood of an event to happen

The temperature of a

human interaction

For my part, I rejoice in their howl

It reminds me

The edges

Still exist

Rain streaks across the cracked windshield

I peer through the little hole

The ineffectual wipers make

And drive on

Later the wind picks up

And buffets the car

The full moon must be rising


Fat yellow light

Fat wet streaks

Fat juicy steaks for dinner

My stomach mildly rumbles

From here to there to nowhere

I can only fall up

Into deep fishy blue

Into sparkling black

Into fire

Sounds chase me

Breath escapes me

Hills rise

Stars rise

Smoke rises


Members of the sky



Into ashes

Into dusk

Into dust

Emmaly Wiederholt is a dancer, hiker, biker, writer, editor, poet and journalist. She received her MA in arts journalism from the University of Southern California and has trained in ballet at University of Utah and San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. She is a founding member of Malinda LaVelle’s dance theater company, Project Thrust. She is a native New Mexican currently based in Santa Fe.

3rd Place

Pencil on Paper

Author: Willie Brown

Don’t confuse luck with God, he writes quick, perhaps too quick,

the pencil scratching his curlicue words across blue-ruled white paper,

Don’t confuse God with luck, he writes next, reflecting,

trying out several texts like new shoes at the mall

Greatness comes to those who are patient, or to those who wait,

or to those who persevere, or to those who appear, on television—

he just can’t commit, rummaging ravenously through the large trunk,

that familiar trunk plunked firmly in a dark corner of the attic of his mind

Ants have now entered the debate and are devouring crumbs left behind

They are Susan’s crumbs, therefore they are Susan’s ants,

She is off to her ballet class, wearing white tights and a gauzy pink top,

white being her favorite color, pink being a strong yet delicate second

Even the cake she was eating was white, slickened smooth with white frosting,

that’s how he first came to notice the wriggly ants nibbling the white crumbs

They are definitely Susan’s ants,

she being the slob and he being the neat one,

which makes them like Jack Sprat and his fussy wife—

Or was this the day that Susan rode the Pinto, her Indian paint?

Peace-Paint he hopes ‘cause if she’s now on the trail,

then one of them later will suffer rider’s cramp

He still can’t decide if God is luck or if luck is God

but concludes that “It is written” makes no sense, maybe is messianic, or

narcissistic: he writes what he writes, and those before wrote what they wrote,

chiseling eyes and cats and Ankhs deep into tombs for ever,

as though their spirits could one day rise up and hug you as their mommy

Did Renoir really use a bright red wagon to wheel his paints through Paris?

or did he fear some would view that image of him as far too abstract?

A person with multiple personalities might succeed as a ventriloquist

but in no event should there ever be trust in a wolf who cried boy—

He still can’t decide if luck is God or God is luck, or if luck be a lady,

but stares at the messy crumbs, and is sure those are Susan’s angst—

Willie Brown is “a lifelong serious reader of primarily fiction” and a college English major, he writes. He works in “a professional field now” and is a former college teacher who did a stint in the military.

Meet the Judges

Mary Wolf, Fiction

Mary Wolf co-owns Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse in downtown Santa Fe with her mom Dorothy Massey. An avid reader, hiker and horseback rider, she earned her bachelor’s in creative writing at Pomona College.

James McGrath Morris, Personal Essay

James McGrath Morris is an author, columnist, and radio show host who lives in Tesuque. His books include Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power and the upcoming Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press.

Valerie Martínez, Poetry

Valerie Martínez is a poet, teacher, translator, playwright, librettist, editor and collaborative artist who descends from Pueblo, Diné and Hispanic ancestors in the Southwest US. She was the poet laureate for Santa Fe from 2008 to 2010.